Why do they just repeat PPTA/NZEI nonsense without questioning anything?

Why do Herald reports like Kate Shuttleworth just repeat PPTA/NZEI nonsense without questioning anything?

First she quotes at length a Nelson teacher who claims to have managed Charter Schools in many places around the world like Jordan, UAE and Pakistan and spent 10 years “repairing the damage”.

Right – sure he did. And how relevant are those countries and how important are anecdotes like that to a country like New Zealand trying to improve the lot of those kids the NZEI/PPTA system is failing?

Then clearly without having read the latest Credo report or the Swedish data released at the end of 2012 Shuttleworth does no background research into the New Orleans Charters School situation but quotes at length a mother from New Orleans who appears to have taken personal offence.

Maybe Kate could have found a few articles on google from credible journalists that say things like:

“The reforms had begun before Katrina, but the pace was accelerated after the disaster. It is now the only US city where a majority of public school pupils – around eight in ten – attend charter schools, which are non-unionised and enjoy a rare degree of operational independence from government. (no wonder the unions here are worried) 

By 2004 one in three New Orleans students was at a private or religious school, compared with a national average of 11%. In high school exit exams that year, 96% of the city’s public school students were below basic proficiency in English.

In the years since Katrina, student performance in tests has improved, and fewer students now go to failing schools. Students have achieved a higher average score in the ACT test, which measures readiness for college.

Lee said: “Schools receive a report card now, parents are savvy – they research online and see how a school is performing. It’s no longer the neighbourhood school; it’s really parent choice.”

Or this one;

“Before Katrina, the graduation rate was less than 50 percent. Now it’s more than 75 percent. Test scores are up 33 percent.”

Or this one;

“Over the past few years, there is a story that has been unfolding down on the Gulf Coast that all Americans need to hear or read about. It is the story of the turnaround of the New Orleans Schools. This major city school system has gone from being one of the worst in the nation to one of the best. It is important to understand that we are talking major city schools here, not all schools, and there is a huge difference.

There has been renewed national focus on New Orleans schools and its students’ progress. The school system has slowly ramped up the number of students served. In 2005, just before Katrina, it had 65,000 students; the next year it was down to 25,600. Enrollment has now climbed to 38,000. The demographics are still daunting: 95 percent of students are minorities and 83 percent are eligible for free or reduced lunches. Last year, 61 percent went to charter schools (a number that will increase this school year), by far the largest percentage of children in an urban area attending charters in the county. And the students have made progress.”

Yep – the New Orleans Charter School “experiment” sure sounds like a failure. Good work Kate.

And how stupid can new NZEI President – Judith Nowotarski – be bringing someone to speak to the Select Committee whose evidence is so easily contradicted? How stupid does she think the select committee members are? How stupid does she think the New Zealand public are? How dishonest is she prepared to be?

Seriously – it is getting tedious – are New Zealand teachers really happy to be represented by these people?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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